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Book Review: Thrive – How to Achieve and Sustain High Level Career Success by Dean Williams and Mike Tinmouth

Ambitious professionals who want to rise to the top – and, as importantly, stay there –would be well-advised to read this practical, informative and actionable business how-to guide.


Written by two experts in the field – award-winning executive coach Dean Williams and business journalist Mike Tinmouth – Thrive is a clear-cut, no-punches-pulled blueprint to career success that will help any talented individual achieve their true potential.


The book sets out its subject matter in clearly-defined chapters and follows a non-linear structure which allows readers to ‘plug in and play’, starting from whichever section seems most relevant to their present situation rather than feeling obliged to read straight from cover to cover.


Thrive, Williams’s second book, following Creating Grade ‘A’ Business Relationships, offers plenty of insightful guidance based on Williams’s vast experience as a top-tier executive coach. He counts global blue chip brands including Samsung, Barclays, MasterCard and BUPA among his clients and has undertaken nearly 2,000 senior coaching sessions in the last decade.


Given this, he has the inside track on the common challenges and traps that professionals can encounter when looking to move up the corporate ladder and is able to present an informed roadmap to going about career progression the right way.


The biggest fail, he says, lies with rising stars rushing to advance their careers without being fully prepared for the increased workload, responsibilities and expectations that inevitably come with promotion.


Though on paper they may have a CV to die for, many will struggle to adapt to the new work environment if they haven’t done the necessary groundwork first, resulting in an unsustainable situation that can lead to demotion and possibly lasting reputational damage.


At the heart of the book is Williams’s patented ‘Career Annulus’ – a tried-and-tested model for senior leadership success. The model offers a process, formula and science for advancement, and challenges individuals to measure their performance against nine core elements.



The authors makes it clear that anybody who is not already excelling in their current role should not imagine that they will somehow shine in a more senior position, quoting Henry Ford’s sage advice that “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.”


Yet it can still be hard to know when it’s the right time to take the next step, and mistiming that jump can prove VERY costly in the long run, so having a checklist such as the Annulus is a great aid.


By breaking down the recipe for promotion into specific elements, such as ‘Peer Support’ and ‘Be An Ambassador’, it makes the process far less daunting and will, no doubt, serve as both an initial motivator for those truly ready to begin thinking about promotion, and an invaluable compass for those already committed on the path.


The book offers smart tips for shining in the workplace and in interview situations – both for internal and external positions.


Much of the advice – for instance, appear confident, dress the part, maintain a cheerful disposition – may sound like simple common sense, but as the authors point out, common sense can be surprisingly hard to come by!


Other sections provide sound tips on such things as handling workplace jealousy, and how to accept the news of a failed interview, with many real-world case studies throughout to provide further illumination of best, and worst, practice.


Thrive is aimed squarely at ambitious employees looking to instill a structured and disciplined model to success all the way to the most senior of leadership positions.


It should also be noted that HR, learning & development and talent teams – will also find much of use within its pages. After all, many employers are guilty of neglecting their talent to the detriment of their own bottom line, seeing their most prized staff burn out or be scooped up by competitors.


Not everyone is ambitious, and the authors don’t have any issues with those who are content where they are, but if you are the sort of person who wants to rise to the top of the talent pool, catching the eye of directors and being recognized as serious contenders, then Thrive is highly recommended.


Thrive – How to Achieve and Sustain High Level Career Success by Dean Williams and Mike Tinmouth (Grosvenor House Publishing) is available now, priced £9.99 in paperback and £7.19 as an eBook.

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